MUMBAI: Bombay high court recently granted bail to a 45-year-old housewife from Pune, in jail for over three years following her arrest by Swargate police over recovery of allegedly 22 grams of heroin from her house.
The woman, Sunita Waidande, was booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
The police in August 2018 had first found a co-accused with over 250 gm–commercial quantity–of brown sugar (heroin) and during investigation he alleged that he had bought it on the say of Waidande and others, including another woman. Both women accused were arrested in February 2019 and have been behind bars since.
Seeking bail for her, her lawyer Piyush Toshnival who said she is a housewife, submitted before justice C V Bhadang who granted her bail, that recovery from her was not of a commercial quantity of the drug, but an intermediate quantity, which attracts lesser sentences and is less grave.
Offences and punishment under NDPS is classified and based on the amount of the drug and for heroin less than 5 grams is ‘small quantity’ and over 250 grams is commercial quantity.
The additional public prosecutor Yogesh Dabke opposed her bail plea citing recovery and “criminal antecedents in four cases earlier since 2004 also under NDPS Act.”
Her lawyer showed the HC judgments of her acquittal in two cases including one filed in 2004 and in 2012.
The HC said, “considering overall circumstances” bail can be granted and directed her to report to the concerned police station once a month on the first Monday, and not indulge in similar offences while on bail or tamper with evidence or witnesses.